MATCH VERDICT: Deeping Rangers on cup run again
Penalty box predator Scott Mooney earned another ‘giant-killing act’ for Deeping Rangers.
Last season’s 25-goal haul included a double to knock out higher-level side Leek Town in a replay on an unforgettable night at the Haydon Whitham Stadium.
A couple of clinical finishes on Saturday sent them into the first qualifying round again, this time at the expense of Ryman League North Division club Wroxham.
A dominant first-half display was rewarded five minutes before the break as Dan Schiavi released Mooney who held off a defender then fired low past keeper Elliott Pride.
After the Yachtsmen had levelled, Mooney made it 2-1 midway through the second half.
Left-back Tom Smith’s long clearance put Scott Coupland into space and he unselfishly squared for Mooney who took a touch to steady himself for a shot into the bottom corner of the net.
A hat-trick opportunity just moments later flashed wide and Deeping really should have gone on to win by a bigger margin.
Schiavi’s role at the top of a midfield diamond saw him at the centre of the first-half action – forcing a couple of saves and setting up a chance for Mooney.
In the early exchanges Schiavi and Mooney both went past Pride but Deeping couldn’t quite find the killer instinct at that stage.
Dan Flack’s effort at the end of a fantastic move was disallowed for offside and in stoppage-time Coupland couldn’t find a way past Pride.
Richard Stainsby’s only save – tipping over a 20-yard drive from Kyle Baker – came just before the leveller.
Wroxham captain Payton Swatman delivered a corner to the near post where Jordan Rocastle squeezed it home.
But Deeping know they will always create chances and it’s usually a question of how many can they convert into goals?
Mooney duly restored the advantage with his fifth goal in five games so far this term.
Coupland’s far-post shot was cleared off the line while Pride denied Mooney and substitute Will Bird.
At the other end, there was nothing being given away from a defence marshalled by assistant-manager Jack Marsden against one of his former clubs.
Deeping stuck to their style of playing ‘the right way’ and got their rewards thanks to the natural finishing skills of Mooney who doesn’t panic inside the 18-yard area.
Victory was fully deserved so Gresley must be wary of what could happen to them in the next round.
4-1-2-1-2: Stainsby 6; Flack 7, Hunnings 7, Marsden 7, Smith 7; Burton-Jones 7; Coulson 7 (sub Kilbride 84 mins), Avis 7; Schiavi 7 (sub Dunn 55 mins, 7); Mooney 8, Coupland 7 (sub Bird 78 mins). Subs not used: Madigan, Lewis, Bircham.
4-2-3-1: Pride; S Taylor, Lewis, Ebbage, Ramm; Swatman, Guyton (sub Harty 63 mins); Garrod, Sweeney (sub A Taylor 72 mins), Baker; Rocastle (sub Fowkes 69 mins).
Mooney (40 mins, 1-0); Rocastle (54 mins, 1-1); Mooney (67 mins, 2-1).
Schiavi (dive); Flack (foul).
Scott Mooney – deadly double.
Kirby Muxloe (A) – UCL Premier Division, Saturday.